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Penn State Student Charged For Allegedly Posting Bomb Threat On Yik Yak

Penn State student Henry Hyduke was charged Tuesday after allegedly posting a bomb threat on the Yik Yak social media platform, according to court documents.

Hyduke, of Fair Haven, New Jersey, was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for terroristic threats causing serious public inconvenience.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Hyduke posted a message on Yik Yak that said, “ROTC bombing downtown state college tonight. Stay safe” on August 24 around 6:30 p.m. The document claims the message was posted from his residence hall on campus.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) was notified of the post and University Police were contacted to investigate the threat, according to the criminal complaint. State College Borough Police were made aware of the threat and considered evacuation, as a specific location was not identified.

Yik Yak is an app that allows people to post and view “anonymous” messages within a five-mile radius.

“Police quickly identified the student who allegedly made the threat, made in-person contact and determined there was no legitimate threat to the community,” a Penn State spokesperson said. “Penn State police urge community members to report any suspicious activity they observe — including on social media — to police by calling 814-863-1111 or dialing 911 in an emergency. To report a crime or suspicious activities online, visit https://www.police.psu.edu/report-crime.”

Police wrote the student acknowledged making the post on Yik Yak, claims he was “trying to make a comedic message,” and denied being involved with ROTC. He also claims he “did not intend to cause a mass casualty event on campus or within the downtown area.”

In an August 25 police interview, Hyduke “reported getting sucked into the app and made the post as a joke.” He was apologetic and denied intending harm, according to police. He acknowledged that the post could have caused fear or concern for those who saw the post.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 28.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a senior biology major from York, Pa, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected] For the hijinks, always.

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